Salisbury & Stonehenge
Right in England's rural heartland
he picturesque South Wiltshire countryside is home to many weird and wonderful things: the world-famous Stonehenge , endless burial mounds, Iron Age forts, crop circles and the medieval city of Salisbury . Once you’ve finished soaking up the ancient atmosphere up on Salisbury Plain, head to the city and lose yourself in the historic streets, atmospheric pubs, charming half-timbered buildings, and glorious Salisbury Cathedral .
History and Heritage
Get down with the druids and explore Neolithic history at Stonehenge which was erected between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC. While you’re there, why not do your best Miss Marple and solve the mystery of the monument once and for all? Visit the blustery but fascinating Iron Age fort at Old Sarum before visiting Salisbury’s Cathedral which boasts the country’s tallest spire, Europe’s oldest working clock and the world's best-preserved Magna Carta – now that’s just showing-off!
Arts and Culture
If you want ambitious regional theatre at its best then look no further than the Salisbury Playhouse or head to the south of England’s largest independent gallery, Fisherton Mill . Each May-June the Salisbury International Arts Festival descends on the region bringing a wonderful array of spectacular events to the region.
Must See Attractions
Spectacular? Spiritual? Shrouded in mystery? You better believe it – it’s what makes the iconic Stonehenge an absolute must see. For stunning views over the city and Wiltshire countryside, climb the 332 steps to the base of the Salisbury Cathedral spire or explore the region’s rich history at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum .
Food and Drink
Work your way through an array of tempting foods - whether your palette craves a gourmet meal in a three Michelin starred restaurant, a traditional English dinner made from the best local produce, or a delicious cream tea at one of Salisbury's tea rooms; you will most certainly be spilt for choice.
The smell of a hog roast mingling with freshly-ground coffee, the bright colours of fresh flowers and delicious local produce, and the sound of friendly bartering filling the air… Salisbury’s Charter Market is a sensory treat and has been since 1227. The history doesn’t stop there; the majority of the city’s shops from independent boutiques to High Street brands are located in medieval half-timbered buildings.
The Nobel Prize-winning author, William Golding worked as a teacher at Salisbury's Bishop Wordsworth's School for many years, unfortunately the experience helped inspire Lord of the Flies. The school’s location next to the cathedral also gave him the idea for the novel, The Spire. TV funny man David Mitchell and actor Joseph Fiennes were both born in Salisbury.
For an aural treat and cultural fix don’t miss the Salisbury International Arts Festival which brings classical and world music along with international theatre to the city in May and June. For a great family day out, head to the annual Cuckoo Fair in May for live music, maypole dancing and Punch and Judy plays within the picturesque village of Downton. West Country cider, hog roasts, and all the best of the rest of the region’s produce are celebrated at the Food and Drink Festival in September. And for an unforgettable solstice join the thousands of revellers celebrating at Stonehenge.
The little ones will go ape with excitement as monkeys sidle up to your car at Longleat ’s drive-through safari – they’ll also be able to see zebras, giraffes and rhinos wandering around. For more animal magic head to the Bush Farm Bison Centre in West Knoyle and walk around the woods meeting chipmunks, elks, and raccoons as well as the bison.
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More about... Salisbury
Salisbury & Stonehenge - the official tourism website.
Things to do
From events and attractions to fine dining and nights out; discover things to do in Salisbury.